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Pre-Law (non-Degree)


While the University of Central Missouri does not currently have a Law or Pre-Law degree, if you are interested in attending law school you can get started here!


At UCM, you will study law from a variety of perspectives and disciplines.  Political Science, Criminal Justice & Criminology, and Business Law collaborate to provide a diverse practical orientation to the study of law and provide a solid base through the Legal Studies Minor and other experiences.  Most legal classes include a diverse group of majors with varied interests: law school, public office, business leaders, and many others.  UCM will provide a solid introduction to the law to anyone for whom law will be an important component of their careers.


Ensuring Your Success at UCM and Beyond

Every program at UCM has faculty who are accessible, knowledgeable, and leaders in their discipline. 
Throughout your pre-legal studies, you will:

  • Be mentored by faculty who have earned a JD from an accredited law school 
  • Network with colleagues  and current legal professionals
  • Gain the writing and critical thinking skills necessary to be successful in law school 

Preparing You for Law School

Get Involved and Get Ahead


US Supreme Court Building

Pre Law Student Association

The Pre-Law Student Association is a longstanding organization at UCM that brings together students from different disciplines who are interested in attending law school.  Members of the organization typically meet twice a month to discuss a wide array of issues associated with the law. The PLSA organization takes field trips, including to MINK Law Day each September, invites law school admissions counselors to campus, visits law schools, meets judges of the Western District Court of Appeals each fall when they hear “live” cases on campus, and introduces speakers during Politics and Social Justice Week.  The organization also has tremendous resources to assist students in preparing for the LSAT and it periodically administers practice LSAT exams.  Students interested in pursuing a law degree are strongly encouraged to join the Pre-Law Student Association! 



Group of Mock Trial students

Mock Trial Team - #2 Ranked team in MO!

Mock Trial is a total immersion, communication skills activity, which gives students the opportunity to learn and practice trial advocacy skills.  Students from all academic departments can participate and do so by competing in invitational, regional and national tournaments.  Students work with Adam Sommer, a local attorney and the Mock Trial Coach, in small workshop groups, combining knowledge of the law with advocacy skills.  The training focuses on developing strategic, coherent case theories; preparing and delivering persuasive opening statements and closing arguments; and conducting clear, effective witness examinations.  Students learn a variety of trial techniques, and utilize demonstrative aids and exhibits in a trial setting.  Students become acquainted with and apply the Federal Rules of Evidence and Rules of Civil and Criminal Procedure.  Most important, students build confidence in their abilities and eventually become thoughtful, credible, and quality advocates.   UCM’s Mock Trial program has had considerable success over the years, earning many bids to the national tournament.    Students interested in joining Mock Trial can contact Adam Sommer at

 LAE trophies

Lambda Alpha Epsilon

LAE is open to all students interested in a career in criminal justice. LAE meets regularly on campus and hosts guest speakers from all criminal justice professions.  The Criminal Justice and Criminology program has hosted the Gamma Epsilon Delta chapter of the American Criminal Justice Association since 1966. The chapter was named after G.E. "Bill" Davila, one of the department's original faculty members. Students regularly participate in competitions on the regional and national level that include physical agility, mock crime scene investigation, firearms, and written academic examinations. For more information contact Dr. Gregg Etter (

 Snouts Out

UCM Talking Mules Team

UCM's Forensics/Speech and Debate team competes regularly at state, national, and international competitions.  With a long history of success, the team has earned team and individual trophies at all levels.  For more information contact 

Coaches: Jack Rogers and Nikki Freeman ( and
or find them on Facebook: University of Central Missouri Debate & Forensics


Get there faster

UCM partners with these schools to offer 3 + 3 programs

Begin your education at UCM in any degree program.  Once you have earned 90 hours and completed your major degree requirements, you will transfer to law school.  Your first year of law school counts as your final year at UCM.  You will earn a BS degree and JD degree in six years.  Contact Professor Benecia Carmack for more information (

University of Missouri - Columbia School of Law

University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Law


Example 3 + 3 Plan

For illustrative purposes only.  Consult the current undergraduate catalog for specific major courses, electives, required general education courses, or modern language requirements.

Students must earn 90 hours at UCM and complete all General Education and BS major degree requirements.

Work closely with your Success Advisor to use your major and free choice electives to their best potential (e.g. Legal Studies Minor, Study Abroad, etc).

  • First Year

    Fall semester

    • ENGL 1020 Comp I (3)
    • General Education Specific to Major (3)
    • General Education (9)

    Semester Total: 15 hours




  • Second Year

  Fall Semester

  • Major Requirements (6)
  • General Education – Literature (3)
  • General Education (6)

Semester Total: 15 hours


  • Third Year

Fall Semester

  • Major Requirements (6)
  • Major Elective or Emphasis (6)
  • Undergraduate Free Choice Electives (3)

Semester Total: 15 hours



  • First Year

    Spring semester

    • ENGL 1030 Composition II (3)


    • CTE 3060 – Technical Writing (3)
    • Major Requirements (3)
    • General Education – Math (3)
    • General Education (6)

    Semester Total: 15 hours


  • Second Year

Spring Semester

  • Major Requirements (6)
  • Major Elective or Emphasis (3)
  • General Education (6)

Semester Total: 15 hours


  •  Third Year

Spring Semester

  • Major Elective or Emphasis (6)
  • Major Requirements (3) 10
  • Undergraduate Free Choice Electives (6)

Semester Total: 15 hours

UCM Legal Faculty and Mentors

read more

Awa, Dr. Peculiar

Assistant Professor
Criminal Justice & Criminology
HUM 302 B
(660) 543-8859

read more

Carmack, Benecia

Assistant Professor
Criminal Justice & Criminology
HUM 301 C-5
(660) 543-8891


Chapman, Lindsay

UCM General Counsel
ADM 208
(660) 543-4730


Popejoy, Steven

Business Law
D 102 - C
(660) 543-8563


Shull, Margaret

Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program
HUM 120
(660) 543-8815


Sommer, Adam

Mock Trial Team Coach
Harris, Harris, and Sommer LLC
(660) 543-8840

read more

Staab, Dr. James

Political Science & International Studies
WD 203 F
(660) 543-8825

Which Major Should I Choose?

The most common majors at UCM that go on to law school include Political Science, Criminal Justice & Criminology, History, and English, but there are many others.
The American Bar Association states:
The ABA does not recommend any undergraduate majors or group of courses to prepare for a legal education. Students are admitted to law school from almost every academic discipline. You may choose to major in subjects that are considered to be traditional preparation for law school, such as history, English, philosophy, political science, economics or business, or you may focus your undergraduate studies in areas as diverse as art, music, science and mathematics, computer science, engineering, nursing or education. Whatever major you select, you are encouraged to pursue an area of study that interests and challenges you, while taking advantage of opportunities to develop your research and writing skills. Taking a broad range of difficult courses from demanding instructors is excellent preparation for legal education. A sound legal education will build upon and further refine the skills, values, and knowledge that you already possess.

Careers in Law

Private Practice

  • Partnership track
  • Non-partnership track,
  • Contract
  • Document Review

Business and Industry

  • In-house counsel
  • Securities law
  • Compliance
  • Procurement/contracts
  • Human Resources
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Tax law
  • Legislative compliance
  • Liability issues

Public Interest

  • Legal aid services
  • Public defense
  • Civil rights law
  • Community outreach
  • Law reform


  • Lobbying/Government relations
  • Elected office

Federal Government 

  • Litigation
  • Regulatory 
  • Public Policy 

State and Local Government

  • Litigation
  • Regulatory
  • Public policy
  • Criminal prosecution
  • Public defense


Criminal Law

Family and Juvenile Law

Health Law

International Law

Immigration Law

Sports and Entertainment Law

Property/Real Estate Law

Financial Planning, Estate Planning, and Investment Banking

Judicial Clerkships

Patent, Copyright, Intellectual Property Law

Energy Law, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

See more at

What Next?

Contact your Academic Success Advisor or the Pre Law Student Advisor today!

Student Success Advising                               Pre Law Student Advisor (Benecia Carmack


Benecia Carmack
UCM Pre Law Student Advisor and Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice & Criminology
Humphreys 301 C-5
Tel: (660) 543-8891


Steven Popejoy
Professor of Business Law
Dockery 102-C
Tel: (660)543-8563


James Staab
Professor of Political Science and International Studies
Wood 203 F
Tel: (660)543-8825


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